Friday, October 9

Recovering Perfectionist Learns to Surrender

For the last six years, I have had the pleasure and blessing of attending a charismatic prayer group, as well as leading the worship for it. I cannot tell you the incredible freedom, joy, and peace I have experienced as a result. It's so crucial to have that fellowship, to have others to share in life's blessings and burdens, and to call you on in your walk with the Lord.

Yesterday, it was a particularly anointed prayer group, and I wanted to share two messages that were shared with the group. The first message was actually part of a talk that was given. I didn't even get to stay for the whole thing, but caught enough at the beginning to leave truly blessed. I'll paraphrase the part that struck me:

 "So often we feel as though we are doing 'the right thing.' We follow His commandments and strive to do His will as best we can. Even so, with all that effort, sometimes nothing seems to change. Life is still difficult, our crosses are still heavy, and nothing seems to get better or easier. We have the same prayer requests, same anxieties and fears, and it's easy to feel our prayers go unheard. Keep persevering. Keep doing what your heart tells you is His will. Leave the results to God. Place in His hands the timing of things, your success or failure. Leave all to His grace. He sees our pitiful efforts and desire to do His will, and that is enough. The outcome will be as He desires. Let that bring peace."

The second message that brought me so much peace and conviction was actually a prophetic word that I myself received from the Lord. It's humbling that the words He gives to me so often strike home in my heart. I needed to hear this message so very much last night:

 "My children, you do not know the grace that sustains you. You do not know the grace that surrounds you in every moment. Do not be afraid of failure, of falling. I am there to catch you and pick you up again. For what Father gives a snake when His children beg for bread? What Father leaves His children to wander aimlessly in the dark without calling their names and guiding them to the Light? What Father leaves His children prey to fears and anxieties? I have vanquished your fears and anxieties. The light has shone in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. So trust that I have a plan. Trust that I hold you in My hand. Trust that there is a meaning and a purpose for your suffering and sorrow. Trust that I walk with you, that I am carrying your cross with you, that I am giving the grace to sustain you. Do not be afraid. I am with You."

May it be so. I have a tendency to become stressed over things, especially things that are out of my control. These past few weeks have been especially stressful for me. I find it hard to do as the old adage advises: let go and let God. I want to have my fingers in the pie. I want to control my life. I want to make things happen, to know for certain the outcome to certain actions. I, I, I...

So the concept of simple trust, of surrender and abandonment in every moment to His will is challenging for me. I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist. I used to find my self-worth in my doings, in my accomplishments, in what people thought of me and in achieving their expectations. "Used to" is such a relative statement too, because I struggle to this day with this cross.

But God is good, and is teaching me how very much He loves me just as I am. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. But He loves me perfectly, and with His grace, that will be enough for me. Every day I seek to find my validation in His love, in His pleasure with me for the little ways I show Him how much I love Him and am striving to be like Him. My goal is no longer perfection per my definition, but His.

When He defines our perfection, it becomes attainable, because He makes it so. He gives us the strength we utterly lack, so that we can come each day a little closer to union with Him in His perfection. He gives us more and more of Himself as we surrender more of our broken nature. As we become like Him, we become perfected as He intended, and not as the world unreasonably demands.

I might never be smart enough, skinny enough, pretty enough... but God help me I will someday be holy enough to spend eternity with my Heavenly Father. And not through my own doings, but 100% because of His abundant mercy, and His desire for me, just as I am.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again, Rejoice!" Your kindness shall be known unto all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:4-7


  1. I read a book about gifted and talented children who are perfectionists. You do fit the bill, Gaby. It is one of the pitfalls of your tremendous and creative mind, spirit, hands, and voice that God has given you. You are burdened with this for a reason. You see much. You hear much. You feel deeply and there is not a whole lot you can do to sway the outcome of what will be. But God can. When you let God, they He can. But first we need to let go, right? So He is free to move where He needs to be to make things right. I pray that you will continue to let Him. He certainly loves you and is blessing you. That is apparent. I am so happy for your new husband and new baby. I pray that you will be writing more soon. I really love what you share. Aunt Karen

  2. Did you take this photo? I would love a copy. Aunt Karen


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